Bourbon Roses are named after Ile de Bourbon a small island in the Indian Ocean (now known as Reunion) which was once a French Colony but is now an "Overseas Department of France", whatever that means. The Bourbon Rose was a natural cross between Rosa chinensis and Rosa damascena bifera, these two pollen parents being a popular choice for hedging on the Island so there was obviously some horticultural hanky-panky going on in the hedge-rows. There are several disputed claims as to who saw this chance seedling first however it remains undisputed that seeds of this "new" rose were sent to France around 1817. There they were grown by the head gardener to King Louis-Philippe and became known as "Rosier de I'lle Bourbon". A very similar rose - many say exactly the same - grew in the Calcutta Botanic Gardens around the same time and was known in India as Rose Edouard. Perhaps the original seed was more widely distributed than first thought?
Still, no matter who did what with whom and where they were when they did it, there is no doubt that French horticulturists were the first to recognize the potential of the Bourbon. They went on to reproduce an extremely popular group of roses which we still enjoy in our gardens today. Perhaps the most celebrated of these is Souvenir de la Malmaison - named after Empress Josephine's garden at Malmaison. The Empress, better known to gardeners as a great Rosarian rather than being the second Mrs Bonaparte continues to be a constant and important thread in our Rose story. Souvenir de la Malmaison is a rose that loves the warmth perhaps harking back to its origins in that little Island in the sun. Other desirables are La Reine Victoria, Mme Isaac Pereire, Mme Ernst Calvat and Commandant Beaurepaire (Vince's favourite Rose) - I know, that's a "treadful" joke!
Bourbon. This rose grows into a slender upright shrub with mid green foliage. The buds are tinted with crimson but open to reveal pure white, highly fragrant blooms with perfect symmetry. Generous with regular clusters of bloom throughout the season. 1867 France.
Flower Colour: White Habit: Upright Mature Size (HxW): 1.5m x 1m
Boule de Neige
Expected Stock Height: 30/40 cm ?
Currently sold out. New season roses available next winter. Add to your waitlist to be advised when next in stock.
Bourbon. The heritage of this rose is unknown but general consensus by rose lovers is that it is one of the nicest striped roses to be found. Delicate shades of lilac and purple on a large cupped blooms complemented by lush foliage. Few thorns, plenty of blooms and a delicious fragrance. Lovely.
This rose can be trained successfully as a small climber.
Bourbon. The slender canes of this lovely old fashioned rose are long and willow-like. The rose pink blooms are medium sized, perfectly cupped and fabulously fragrant. Repeats well from summer to autumn if treated kindly. From France 1872. Sometimes called 'The Shell Rose'.
Bourbon. The petals of this lovely rose are perfectly arranged to form very large blooms that are double and shaded a rich rose pink. An exquisite fragrance delights the nose, the relatively thorn free stems delight the gardener. Tall, vigorous and will bloom generously throughout the season. 1851.
Bourbon. A very beautiful old rose with cupped blooms of palest silvery pink touched with white, especially at the edges. The blooms are sweetly scented. Repeat displays throughout the season with a final flourish in the autumn. Relatively few thorns and long slightly lax canes. From France - 1878.
Flower Colour: Pink / White Habit: Upright Mature Size (HxW): 1.8m x 1.2m
Mme Pierre Oger
Expected Stock Height: 30/40 cm ?
New stock expected Middle of July, 2024. Waitlist now. Estimated price TBA. Payment on order.
Bourbon. AKA Dresden China. Light pink to cerise blending. Strong fragrance. Globular bloom form. Continuous (perpetual) bloom throughout the season. Can be used for cut flower or garden. Shade tolerant. Bred by George Paul (UK, before 1921).
Bourbon. This rose is named after the famous garden of Empress Josephine - wife of Napoleon Bonaparte who collected roses from all over the world. Blooms are delicately perfumed, double, quartered and blush white with pink shadings. Likes a sunny position as this Madame doesn't like getting wet 1843
Flower Colour: White / Pink Habit: Upright Mature Size (HxW): 1.2m x 1.2m
Souvenir de La Malmaison
New stock expected Middle of June, 2024. Waitlist now. Estimated price TBA. Payment on order.
Bourboun. Deep cerise or magenta- pink fragrant double blooms that flower in flushes throughout the season.Vigorous plant with bright green foliage. Available only in Australia and New Zealand.Bred by Antoine Levet (père) (France, 1889).
Bourbon. Discovered in Ireland and named after the famous garden near Dublin where it was growing. This almost single rose has delicate pearly pink petals and a gentle sweet fragrance. Quite delightful in full flower. Repeats well and is a reliable performer. 1950.